Criteria for classifying workers as childcare workers (4600) vs preschool and kindergarden (2300)

Hi all,

I would like to know more about the criteria being used to classify workers as childcare workers vs perschool/kindergarten teachers. Is the criteria being used based on age only or based on the location of the center (in schools vs not in schools)? Is there a dictionary or guideline describing the criteria for classifying workers into occupational categories in detail?

Thank you!


IPUMS CPS samples starting from 2020 use the 2018 Census occupation classification scheme developed using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Manual: 2018 to categorize OCC codes. The manual provides the following descriptions of these occupations:

39-9011 Childcare Workers
Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and childcare institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play. Excludes “Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education” (25-2011) and “Teaching Assistants, Preschool, Elementary, Middle, and Secondary School, Except Special Education” (25-9042).
Illustrative examples: Au Pair, Daycare Provider, Nanny

25-2010 Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers
This broad occupation includes the following two detailed occupations:
25-2011 Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education
25-2012 Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education

25-2011 Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

Instruct preschool-aged students, following curricula or lesson plans, in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth. Excludes “Special Education Teachers” (25-2050), “Substitute Teachers, ShortTerm” (25-3031), and “Childcare Workers” (39-9011).
Illustrative examples: Home-based Preschool Teacher, Nursery School Teacher, Preschool Head Start Teacher

25-2012 Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education
Teach academic and social skills to kindergarten students. Excludes “Special Education Teachers” (25-2050) and “Substitute Teachers, Short-Term” (25-3031)
Illustrative examples: Bilingual Education Kindergarten Teacher

Childcare can be provided to children of any age and age is only mentioned in the description for preschool teachers. Location also doesn’t seem to play a major role; childcare workers can be employed at schools while preschool teachers can be home-based. It appears that the main difference is that teachers must either teach or instruct children, whereas childcare workers provide a variety of caregiving tasks that typically do not include any instruction.

This is very helpful. Thank you, Ivan!